Peaking late

chickenofthesea_bookcoverI have heard that Granma Moses didn’t sell her first painting until she was in her eighties. She then became a super star in the artistic world. One can either look at this as it’s too bad she never achieved her fame and fortune earlier in life so she could have enjoyed the fruits of her success or that it’s great that she finally found her fame despite it coming so late in her life.

I have to admit that my timing hasn’t always been the best. I was a skinny kid when I went out for freshman football and didn’t grow into my body until me senior year when it was too late to try out again for the team.

I didn’t get into surfing until I was a junior in high school and by the time my senior year rolled around my buddies Ricky, Jimmy and Eddie were already members of the Bunger Team and I was just starting to find my form on a board. I didn’t start competing until well into my thirties and by that time any potential future as a pro competitor had long passed me by.

I didn’t start snowboarding until my late forties and although I became a professional instructor and was an expert boarder, any dreams of becoming an Olympian had long passed me by also.

I was  in my fifties when I wrote my first book, in my sixties when I wrote my first novel and just this past year when I wrote my first screenplay. I guess I was a little late on all of these things especially after finding out that the screen industry is looking for young screenwriters almost exclusively.

When the military draft was going on during Vietnam I had a very low draft number and as such ended up in the military service. If I had been born a day earlier I would have had a high number and as such been able to not have to leave my pregnant wife Kathy.

I suppose I could look at all of this as a bit of a disappointment but just like Grandma Moses I realize it’s better to have peaked late than to have either peaked too early of not at all.

I’ve known many people who have peaked too early in life and have lived in the world of “yeah I was a big deal way back when” and then end up feeling like it’s all over and with no sense of well being as to who and what they are now.

There are also those who didn’t achieve their goals and dreams earlier in life and feel like their time has passed for success or to realize their dreams.

So I’m a bit late in peaking. Big deal. I’m still able to surf and snowboard at a pretty high level, I learned a lot from my time in the service, who knows if my life would have been so great if I was able to become a pro surfer way back when and would I have been able to write or paint with as much passion as I do if I had started earlier and didn’t have the disappointments and life experiences that I’ve had.

What I’ve come to believe is that we sometimes peak at the right time despite how it may seem and that like Grandma Moses it’s a lot better to have peaked late than never. I’ve also come to believe that, until we take our last breath, we need to keep pursuing our dreams and passions as well as to use the gifts that God has endowed upon us so we leave the legacy we were destined to leave and to have no regrets.

Thanks again for checking in this week. I hope your week will be a great one, keep pursuing your passions and I will look forward to seeing you back here again next week.


Paul (aka Chicken of The Sea and The Nonconformist) (truth be told, my nickname in school was bird legs)


About authorpaulhayden

Author, artist, screenwriter, environmentalist. husband, father, surfer, surfing instructor, volunteer.
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